Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Top cat returns to the alley

You've more than likely already heard that Former Respect Mp George Galloway has got his Talksport gig back The Mother of All Talk Shows at its usual slot of 10-1am Friday though not saturday. Looks like that Facebook group really pulled through for the old Scottish teetotaller eh?

Anyway after listening to the first broadcast after an hiatus of several months does he come up to scratch? as he been rejuvenated by his holiday and now graces us listeners with renewed passion humour and insight?

Well yes and no the start of the new George series was mixed for me. The beginning was all about the Popes visit and while it did have a good interview with Peter Tatchell below.

I have to say I was pretty disappointed with George here. His argument that the Vatican is a state in the post Age of Reason world doesn't hold up. And his continued insistance it is without explaining why comes across as dogmatic.

In this contemporary world you and I live in state hood is ultimately left to the UN to decide, though that certainly doesn't stop other Nations from picking and choosing who to invite to the diplomatic club, see Kosovo, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Tibet, Kurdistan, and the whole Peoples Republic of China versus Republic of China etc. The Vatican on the other hand doesn't really fit the model of what we would know regard as a state. It was created out of a deal between the Catholic church and Mussolini's Fascist party, a deal that saw the Papal states that at its height could easily have been eligible for modern statehood as it once owned the territory of Central Italy including Rome and whose governing was placed under the direct control of the Catholic church was officially dissolved and reformed into the modern Vatican that has no government nor services nor territory not a direct and active part of the Catholic church.

At best the Vatican is another Grand Duchy or theocratic style Principality like Monaco. At worst its a large micro nation in the vein of Sea Land and does Roy Bates get a red carpet reception every time he gets tired of hanging out on that concrete bunker in the sea and goes back home to Spain? I think not.

Furthermore the UK doesn't even deal with the Pope as if he is the head of state for anything. How many Embassies are in the Vatican? zero how many does the Vatican have in the UK and the world? Zero. How many trade agreements exist? none apart from between the Vatican and Italy and they kind of have to given that the Vatican is inside there own capitol. And unlike all are other disputed territories that aspire to nationhood in the world like say Kosovo, the Vatican has absolutely no chance of becoming a state. What is the ultimate pillar that all states regardless of ideology economy and geography rest upon? the monopoly on the use of Organised force. Thats how they maintain what territory they have and how they usually expand it. To quote a man whose name escapes at the moment "how many divisions does the Pope have?" the answer is again zero unless you count those Swiss Mercs and there plentiful armouries of Axes and Halberds.Truly Italian statesmen must quake in fear at this great dagger pointing directly at the heart of there nation just waiting to be unsheathed.

He also ignored Tatchell's comment that since its the Catholic population that want him here they should foot the bill you know like they did the last time one of them showed up.

But I digress, I also found his other argument that the Pope is the head of the Catholic church therefore every Catholic should automatically bend there knee to him on every thing he says line quite insulting. As a man of Irish (among others) descent I've lost count of the times I've heard my Nan and Aunts say "If the Pope wants me to have a hundred kids he can pay for them" variations there of. Sorry George but I thought you believed everyone should practice reasonable thinking and try to reach conclusion based on that, not you know blindly following what someone else tells you. Look just because the Pope or any other Religious leader tells you something thats wrong it doesn't magically become right. When the Pope says contraceptives actually aid the spread of HIV in Africa when all the evidence says otherwise he is still wrong in saying that.

Anyway as I said this was just the first hour, and it did get better as it progressed. There were too very good and very interesting interviews with a couple of September the 11th survivors. And even the interview (below) with the conspiracy theorist was reasonable and coherent throughout.

But just one last thing though what ever happened to that "Radical Radio network" George said he was organising, the one that was and I quote just "over the rainbow" (scroll down a bit). Looks like that ain't happening. Thats a shame as George himself has pointed out he is quite a solitary figure in the right wing hang em and deport em world of Talk radio. Which seems set to increase given his reduction in air time. To me George's idea of a grouping of prominent Left wing and Progressive commentators is a missed opportunity given that he would be uniquely placed to plug the thing to a wider audience then most internet radio shows get. Oh well.

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